NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Maverick Transportation has named TJ Hargis the company’s 2020 over-the-road (OTR) driver of the year, and Scot Claiborne as the 2020 dedicated driver of the year. These honors are awarded each year to the Maverick drivers who not only demonstrate an outstanding commitment to safety but also exhibit great character and professionalism in all aspects of their role.
“I’m very proud of Tommy (TJ) and Scott for their achievements throughout their careers here at Maverick and now meeting the ultimate achievement by being voted in as our OTR and dedicated drivers of the year,” said John Coppens, vice president of operations for Maverick.
As drivers of the year, Hargis and Claiborne will be the representatives for Maverick drivers on the road as well as in communication with the Maverick leadership team.
TJ Hargis, 2020 OTR driver of the year
“It is such an honor. I was surprised!” Hargis said. “The first time I was named a Maverick Driver of the Month, I was excited. I’ve always been so happy at Maverick.”
“This time around, I was a little more nervous, but I truly didn’t think I’d get it,” he continued. “When John [Culp] said my name, I didn’t know what to do. I’ve gotten a lot of words of encouragement from other Mavericks. I don’t think it has really hit me yet.”
According to Hargis, finding his support group at Maverick has been an integral part of his journey to becoming driver of the year. “Find your support group of other drivers, office personnel and shop personnel that are going to give you good advice so when you have questions, they are your go-to,” Hargis said.
As a 13-year employee of Maverick, Hargis has some thoughts for incoming drivers.
“Maverick has great benefits and pay, and no one else can beat them. They have been around long enough and when I walk through the building, I can sit down with anyone and talk business or shoot the breeze with them,” he said. “They are upfront and honest, and their equipment is always kept up well. They are family-oriented, and they have proven that many times with me.”
Scott Claiborne, 2020 dedicated driver of the year
“It was very cool as everyone spoke during the announcement. It is such an honor to be included with all of these professional drivers,” Claiborne said.
He credits his drive- trainer, fellow Mavericks and experienced gained during his previous nondriving career for his success at Maverick.
“I earned my CDL-A and spoke with one of (Maverick’s) drivers. He was very honest and told me we would be trained well, and if we worked hard, it would pay off,” Claiborne said.
“Running a truck is very much like running a trading desk, (something I used to do),” he continued. “Looking at time constraints, fuel, traffic — it all made sense. That clicked with me.”
Claiborne shares these words of encouragement with new drivers: “Take your time, and be patient.”